Most frequently asked questions about brick
What are the most common brick sizes?
Most face brick have holes to help the units fire properly, promote bonding with mortar, reduce overall weight, and make them easier to handle.
Solid brick are used where holes may be unsightly, for example, in steps or window sills. Pine Hall Brick manufactures brick in the following sizes:
• Modular – 3 1/2″W x 7 5/8″L x 2 1/4″H
• Oversize -3 1/2″W x 7 5/8″L x 2 3/4″H
• Queen – 2 3/4″W x 7 5/8″L x 2 3/4″H
There are 7 modular brick per square foot and 5.8 oversize and queen brick per square foot.
What are the different brick textures?
The surface texture of brick is very important to its overall appearance. Identically colored brick can look dramatically different simply by adding texture.
There are a variety of textures available including wirecut and torn face (rough texture). Texture can also be created by applying coatings, machine made impressions, or other mechanical treatments.
The distressed and uneven textures frequently seen in handmade and wood mold brick can be simulated at a less expensive price by mechanical treatments.
Mechanically treated extruded brick sometimes known as “tumbled brick” may have superior structural properties when compared to handmade and wood mold brick.
What are “Authentic Tumbled” and “Rumbled Brick”?
Tumbled Brick are brick that are tumbled down a ramp prior to the firing process that gives the brick a “no-two-are-the-same” handmade look with the properties and color selection of today. Rumbled Brick are brick that are tumbled down a ramp after the firing process that gives the brick a weathered old world look with the properties and color selection of today.
What is “modern antique brick”?
Made with a special deep texture, this brick features a mixture of color blending so that each brick looks a little different than the brick next to it just like brick fired a thousand years ago.
This process makes it easy to blend with other home exterior products for just the look you’re after.
How is brick color produced?
The color of brick is determined by the raw materials it contains and the method used to fire it.
Additives blended into the clay mixture can create color completely through the brick body.
Sand coatings, ceramic slurries and other additives can be applied to the face of the brick to create different surface colors.
Changing the firing temperature will also produce different shades of color from the same raw materials.
Flashing is one method of firing brick which burns some of the brick darker. These flashed brick add color range and highlights to many styles of brick.
Why is mortar color important in building a brick home?
Mortar represents approximately 20 percent of the total surface of a wall, so picking the right mortar color is very important to the overall look of your home.
Different mortar types and specifications are required for various applications and climates. The most common is called type S and is naturally gray in color. Mortar can be tinted to blend or to contrast with the brick color. It is important to keep mortar mixing and tooling practices uniform, especially when using colored mortar.
A slight variation in mortar color can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a finished wall.
Pine Hall Brick or your brick distributor typically stocks a variety of colored mortars for you to choose from. Your salesperson can discuss the mortar colors that look best with your brick color.
Also, sand color will affect the finished look of your mortar color. Lighter color sands are generally recommended for lighter colored mortars. Inquire about the common sand colors in your area.
The mortar joint is also an important factor in the appearance and functionality of the wall. “Tooling” the joints help seal the wall surface against moisture penetration. The concave, vee, and grapevine joints are best for exterior construction. These joint types compress the mortar at the surface and are the most weatherproof. Other joints are acceptable for interior use.
Can I match older brick on my home with new brick?
Mother Nature did not make soil and clay consistently one color.
When manufacturers mine raw materials, the clay and shale composition will change slightly as the mining location shifts. This subtle change creates a color variation each time the clay is fired and helps give brick its warmth and character.
So, every run of brick (any color) varies somewhat from the last run and can vary dramatically over a period of years. Plus, brick will weather in the wall and as a result it is impossible to accomplish a perfect match when adding onto an existing building, but we can generally get close.
Consult Pine Hall Brick or your brick distributor for help in matching your existing brick.
Can I get samples of brick?
Samples are supplied as a general representation of the brick to be furnished.
The wide variety of colors and texture inherent in the manufacturing of brick cannot be fully represented in the size of the sample. A best representation of a brick color is to view a recently built brick home with your selected brick.
Remember, Mother Nature did not make soil and clay consistently one color. When manufacturers mine raw materials, the clay and shale composition will change slightly as the mining location shifts.
This subtle change creates a color variation each time the clay is fired and helps give brick its warmth and character. So, every run of brick (any color) varies somewhat from the last run and can vary dramatically over a period of years.
How is brick priced?
How long does it take to get brick?
Delivery to your job site depends on the availability of the brick and of the delivery equipment.
Normally when a brick is in stock, delivery to your job site should be within one to three working days. But, in times of heavy demand, brick availability can be as much as weeks or months. It’s best to order your brick with as much lead time as possible.
Can I return unused brick?
Pine Hall Brick does not pick up or accept brick/pavers for return once they have been delivered.
When exceptions are made, any products returned will be subject to a pallet/cube restocking charge. No brick/pavers can be returned in less than full pallet/cube packages. If buying from a distributor, check their return policy for details.
What is the most important thing I should do when brick are delivered?
It is important that you inspect the brick delivered to your job site.
A field panel erected of 50 brick with your selected mortar is the best way to see what your brick will look like. An alternative is to lay a dry stack panel without mortar (pavers, too).
Brick is a natural product with small variations from run-to-run so expect your brick to have its own unique look from samples seen in the past. Remember, once brick is place in service, use constitutes acceptance in all cases.
How do you clean brick?
2. Use plenty of water and thoroughly soak the wall.
3. Use the recommended cleaning product and carefully follow directions.
4. Rinse the wall thoroughly with water. Some brick cannot be wet cleaned. Check the brick tag or with the brick manufacturer for any special instructions before you begin cleaning.
What are common brick terms?
Bullnose – Brick with one rounded end
Cement– The adhesive ingredient in mortar
Course – Horizontal row of bricks
Cube – Typical brick package; bricks stacked on one another bound by steel or plastic bands
Full Head & Bed Joint – Mortar joints filled from front to back
Joint – Gap between brick in wall, typically 3/8″ wide and filled with mortar
Jointing – Process of sealing mortar joints while the mortar is thumb print hard
Mason Sand – Fine granular sand with round particles used in mortar
Splits – Half high brick used to balance courses in a wall
Soldier Course – Row of bricks stood on end with its long face perpendicular to wall’s length
Stretcher – Brick laid with its long face parallel to a wall’s length
Wall Flashing – Flexible material used to direct water to weep holes.
Wall Ties – Metal strips placed into mortar joint and attached to wall
Weep Hole – Open vertical joint between bricks allowing water to drain from behind wall